The high-stakes prosecution of Manafort by particular counsel Robert Mueller’s crew reached its conclusion with Wednesday’s closing arguments — with prosecutors accusing Manafort of “lies” and protection attorneys questioning the credibility of key witnesses.
“Mr. Manafort lied to maintain more cash when he had it, and he lied to get more cash when he did not,” stated prosecutor Greg Andres. “It is a case about lies.”
The jury is scheduled to start deliberations at 9:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. Choose T.S. Ellis instructed jurors Wednesday night to not talk with anybody concerning the trial.
“Nothing a few cellphone or an iPhone — goodness, that is now outdated — a BlackBerry,” Ellis stated.
The case performed out whereas Trump and the political world watched. Private revelations about Manafort — akin to his possession of a $15,000 ostrich jacket — offered sparks over the course of the 12-day trial.
Because the trial reached its finish — with Manafort’s protection crew deciding to not name any witnesses and arguing that prosecutors hadn’t met their burden of proof — Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, watched, persevering with to query the credibility of the particular counsel’s investigation from afar.
A win for Mueller’s crew would ship shock waves via Trump’s orbit of aides, mates and out of doors advisers and would heighten anticipation for Mueller’s subsequent strikes. A loss would improve the refrain of requires Mueller’s investigation to finish.
Manafort’s protection attorneys prompt Wednesday that all the prosecution was politically motivated.
Protection legal professional Richard Westling stated Manafort grew to become the particular counsel’s sufferer in a “selective means of pulling” his monetary information to concoct a story of an “elaborate fraud scheme.”
It was “not till the particular counsel confirmed up and began asking questions” that anybody appeared involved about Manafort’s dealings with banks, Westling stated, noting that not one of the banks concerned reported the alleged frauds to the authorities.
He stated the particular counsel’s aim was to “stack up the counts” in opposition to Manafort.
Ellis, the choose, instructed the jury to not contemplate the Manafort crew’s characterizations of Mueller’s crew’s motives.
‘It is a case about lies’
In his closing, Andres argued that Manafort had lied — repeating the phrase to the jury a number of occasions. He stated Manafort had hid his earnings from Ukraine, lied to federal authorities and defrauded banks.
Manafort’s emails, memos and monetary information had been “plagued by lies,” Andres stated.
He alleged that Manafort’s tax returns from 2010 via 2014 are false, and instructed jurors they need to discover that Manafort willfully and knowingly lied on the official IRS varieties about his earnings and overseas accounts.
The prosecutor punctuated this by exhibiting the primary of a number of emails the jury would revisit Wednesday — during which Manafort known as one of many 31 overseas accounts “my account.” Manafort wrote it “when nobody was wanting. He didn’t know someday he can be sitting on this very courtroom,” Andres stated.
‘I am not asking you to love him’
The testimony of Rick Gates, Manafort’s former deputy, took middle stage on each side Wednesday.
Gates has pleaded responsible to crimes in federal court docket in Washington and is cooperating with Mueller’s crew. He admitted final week in court docket to having embezzled cash from Manafort and having an extramarital affair a decade in the past.
Andres instructed jurors that earlier than they even contemplate the possibly fraught testimony of Gates, they need to look to 10 different witnesses’ testimony and proof to seek out Manafort responsible past an affordable doubt.
“The star witness on this case is the paperwork,” Andres stated.
“Mr. Manafort is a mentor to Mr. Gates, significantly to his personal legal exercise,” Andres stated. He added that Manafort “did not select a Boy Scout” to be his companion in crime.
And what about Gates’ admitted affair? “Was it to distract you? Does it matter?” Andres requested the jury.
He identified that Manafort’s attorneys by no means requested Gates concerning the alleged financial institution fraud.
“I am not asking you to love him,” Andres stated.
Protection legal professional Kevin Downing stated Gates “fell aside and confirmed himself the liar that he’s” on the witness stand.
“To the very finish, he lied to you,” Downing stated.
Protection argues Manafort was focused in ‘selective course of’
Westling referenced Manafort’s work on Trump’s presidential marketing campaign minutes into his closing, calling Manafort a seasoned political guide who had earned “nice respect” for his work.
Westling additionally implored the jurors to contemplate the excessive burden of proof the federal government should meet to show that Manafort is responsible “past an affordable doubt.”
“Maintain the federal government to its burden, women and gentleman,” Westling urged the jurors.
Westling conceded that the proof in opposition to Manafort consists of emails. However, he contended, “the issue of electronic mail proof could be very a lot the problem of what does it appear to be later.”
CNN’s Sophie Tatum contributed to this report.